Indians are at higher risks of hypertensions due to the higher intake of salt.
Salt has become the most important ingredient in any dish. WHO(World Health organisation) has recommended that intake of 5gm of salt per day is good for health. But a study revealed that out of the 187 countries all over the world, 181 nations consumes more salt than this. Our Indians intake 9%(10.06gm) over the recommended limit(i.e., we eat seven times more than the needed amount).
The member of the research team, Clarie Johnson from The George Institute for Global Health, Australia took up this survey focussing on India especially including all the urban/rural people, educated and uneducated, people of different genders, ages and also did a cross section of the 1,395 participants to conclude the results.
Nine out of every ten people stated that they knew about the health problems that come due to the higher intake of salt. The question the researcher targeted at the participants is “How important you think lowering the salt in your diet is?”
Almost 98% of the people claimed to use spices instead of salt, and 61% of them avoid outside foods and 52% people avoid processed foods.
This clearly proves that the people are aware of the bad impact of salt intake. On this note, Johnson stated that every measure to avoid salt is good for the health of Indians. An interesting fact is that lowering the salt intake by 1gm reduce the chance of getting stroke by 4.8%. So once again health of an individual lies in his hands.
One in every four Indians in villages and one in every three members in cities are the patients of high Blood Pressure and Hypertension. The only thing they need to do is to reduce the intake of salt to control hypertension. As sodium in the salt constricts the arteries resulting in the increase of blood pressure, disturbing the functions of kidneys and leads to strain on the blood vessels.
Because the over consuming of salt, one in every four Indians gets succumbed to cardiovascular disease as per the study in 2012.
Johnson claimed that so many premature deaths could be cut down by reaching the target of WHO which is to reduce the sodium intake by 30% resulting in the 15% lessening of stroke mortality.
Each decade the number people who suffer from Hypertension keeps increasing in India. As per the recent readings by WHO, 33% of the urban Indians are Hypertension patients. They increase in 90mmHg blood pressure and a systolic reading increased by 140 mmHg.
Hypertension is often noted as a common disease but is deadly and chronic with the symptoms of headaches, breathing problems, nosebleeds, etc. The symptoms worse even more based on the damage.
Physicians state that 50% of Hypertensive people don’t know their condition and won’t take the treatment seriously.
Jugal Kishore, Director and Professor at Community Medicine at Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College in New Delhi states that Hypertension is one of the current threats to the Indians in medical terms. Unfortunately the cost of treatment is also a factor and only 33% of patients are eligible for the free health care services.
Indians consumes more amount of salt as they live in a hot country and the sweat they release sends out the needed amount of salt. But Johnson falsifies the statement. He claims that we need only 500mg of salt every day and anything more than that might cause health issues.
The 10% of the salt is present in the raw vegetables, cereal and fruit people consume and the rest is from the cooking table. So as we can’t reduce the salt in the fruits, we should cut down the salt amount in the cooking itself.
The type of food Indians eats changed a lot in the past 30 years. People now—adays are showing more interest in the processed and other junk foods which contain a high amount of salt and unhealthy fat.
According to the recent study,
1. 1 in every four products doesn’t meet the necessary nutrition guidelines provided by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
2. 2 in 3 products don’t list salt as the ingredient and fails the International Codex Alimentarius requirements.
On this regard, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India claimed that their new guidelines come into action in a few months and it will make it mandatory for the labels to list sodium as a nutrient.